In the last blog post, I touched a bit on how to use everyday items to fix up your chair so that you can avoid needlessly buying a new chair with the word "Ergonomic" in the title (and the price jacked up at least 30%).
So let's expand on these everyday items that you can use not just to fix up your chair, but to also fix up any environment you find your body in at any time. Check out the following 7 items to learn their specific uses in supporting your body.
Post-its for wrist support and postural reminders
When you use the mouse, you actually don’t want to keep your wrist in the same place on the surface of the table as that puts pressure on the median nerve inside your wrist and puts you at risk for carpal-tunnel syndrome. If you stick a post-it half on your wrist and half on the bottom of the mouse, your wrist motion will be restricted, forcing you to lift your wrist off the table and move your mouse from the elbow. You can also write postural reminders on post-its and stick them on your monitor as reminders. Here’s my favorite:
“A good stance and posture reflects a proper (powerful) state of mind.” - Morihei Ueshiba
Tennis balls for massage!
You can’t go wrong with a portable self-massage item. Tennis balls are especially great for back soreness/pain. Stand with your back against a wall, place the tennis ball on the sore spot, then squat, stand, and wiggle away! It feels like heaven. Gently stretching the muscle afterwards adds to the benefits, too.
Alarm on your cell phone or alarm clock to remind you to move
If you are the type that doesn’t usually get up until lunch at 12pm and after work at 5pm, you can set an alarm for 10am and 3pm. Give yourself an extra challenge and place your phone or clock somewhere you have to actually get up to turn off.
Tape to mark ergonomic placement of items in your work area
I have seen too many people sit all topsy-turvy and twisted in their chairs in a rush to get back to work after another endless meeting. Put tape, or cute washi tape – whatever catches your eye, on the table edge to mark the where your seat edges should line up to the table. You can use tape to mark the correct placement of your keyboard or laptop if you move around a lot.
Books, boxes, sterilite container as a footrest and monitor stand
If your feet dangle, can you use these items as a footrest. You only need high enough so that your knees are in the same line as your hips or slightly below (not above!). You can also use these to raise your monitor or laptop so that the top of the monitor is at eye level, which prevents eye strain.
Towels, sweaters, and cushions as back and booty supports
Like I mentioned in the last post, you can roll these babies up and place them in the small of your back as a lumbar (low back) support. You can also stack towels and cushions under your bottom to raise your seat up if that’s what you need.
Last but not least, water to hydrate and force you to move!
Our bodies and minds need water to function well, so invest in an awesome cup that makes you want to take sips from. Add fruits, mint, cucumbers, other herbs to infuse the water with to make it tastier. The more you drink, the better you will feel, and the more you’ll have to get up to pee! Two birds with one stone.
Be creative in customizing your workstation to fit your body, and HAVE FUN!